Since early 2015 the Food Bank has continued to fulfil the aims of its founders which were to provide support to people at crisis point within our communities and to reflect the love and grace of Jesus in our troubled and challenging world.
We work closely with a network of Referral Agencies who provide those in need with a voucher that enables them to obtain a week’s supply of food. These food parcels are individually picked by our Volunteer team. Our clients come to us for a variety of reasons not just the much-publicised problem with benefits. Often it is illness, marital breakdown or the sudden loss of a job.
During the last year we have provided support to 875 people of which 436 were children. These figures are very similar to 2018. Food Bank use varies by month, with December being particularly busy. In one exceptional week in December we provided food for 52 people. In another week we dealt with 8 families.
Our central location adjacent to Budgens, where we go each week to get top-up supplies, has proved to be ideal for our operation. Our clients can find us easily and those individuals and organisations that donate food know where we are.
Future of the Youth Hall
We are extremely fortunate to have the support of Bishops Waltham Youth Club who continue to allow us to use their facilities. This site along with the adjoining building formerly owned by the NHS and the premises of Fox’s Garden Machinery have been the subject of a planning application. At the time of writing, planning consent has not been granted but the possibility of the site being developed is a major concern to us.
Should planning for the site be granted we will have a major problem as we understand construction work could last several years. Any thoughts on where we could relocate to would be gratefully received.
Our thanks go to:
- Our incredible team of Volunteers who give selflessly of their time. It’s always a pleasure to pop in and be met by a smile and cheerful hello
- Everyone from throughout the wider community who donate food whether it is directly or through churches or other organisations. Without you we could not support so many individuals and families in need
- The Referral Agencies who are at the forefront of dealing with real life problems
- Budgens whose Food Bank donation trolley overflows each week
- Meon Valley Lions whose generosity enabled us to purchase some little extras for our clients this Christmas
- Country Homes for allowing us to establish an overflow storage facility “next door”